Monday, February 27, 2012

Please Send Love.... Emily and her three babies born last night at 26 weeks gestation.  The babies are doing well so far, but I'm sure they could all use your thoughts and prayers that the coming weeks go smoothly!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Staying Put

Wow, first and foremost thank you all so much for the kind thoughts and prayers for me and my boys.  Emily and Unaffected, I appreciate all the troops you rallied up to support me.  I don't know what else to say, but thanks!

I really wanted to update sooner, but have been resting and catching up on my eating today. Yesterday was very long and scary.  All I ate was cereal at breakfast, so today I've been feeding these babies, who are happily still growing in my "ute" (as Emily would say)!

Okay, so yesterday morning, I woke up feeling like crap. The night before, we had gone to an NBA game and we didn't get in until late. I had to get up early with my DSs and get them ready for school. I attributed the late night before to my low backache and on and off cramping. I sat for most of the morning and drank water, hoping they would subside. In a two hour time period, I timed 21 contractions. All with accompanying low back pain. I knew I had to call my doc. On my way to the phone, I stopped in the bathroom to pee. When I wiped, there was a big bloody glob of mucous on the tp (sorry for the TMI). I wiped again and there was blood. I stayed calm, but pretty much decided then and there that I was in labor. I've never had back labor before, but I thought maybe that's what was going on. I called my OB and they told me to go straight to labor and delivery.

When I got there, I got hooked up and was contracting about 5 minutes apart. The babies looked great. Strong heartbeats (132 &150) but we had to get the contractions stopped and quickly. My doc didn't want to stir anything up by checking my cervix manually, so they brought an u/s machine in and measured it/looked at it abdominally. Long and closed, thank god!

They didn't want to jump straight to mag sulfate, so they gave me a shot in the back of my arm (some sort of muscle relaxer) to calm my uterus. It didn't work. Just made me shaky and hyper and my heart race. An hour later, I was begging for the mag, anything to stop the contractions and keep my babies safe. The gave me a shot of dem.erol and phener.gan. I was still in pain and contracting regularly, but was loopy and cared less about the pain, the medicine was just making me foggy and out of touch with reality. It was awful. I hated not feeling like I was in control, not feeling like I could advocate for myself and my babies like I should have been able to.

During that time, they tested my urine and saw that it contained elevated white cells. Couple that with the back pain and they decided the pain was coming from the kidneys, not back labor. They did an u/s on my kidneys and it came back negative. I was so frustrated thinking that we were back to square one and I was in labor. My doc disagreed, though. He said that a lot of times, in the early stages or with small stones, they aren't easily detected on an u/s. Sometimes, you have to take the "wait and see" approach. He ordered another shot of dem.erol and phener.gan and this one knocked me out. For like three hours. When I woke up, I had an IV in my left arm and was already on my second bag of fluids. DH informed me that the contractions had pretty much stopped and that I was only having maybe one or two an hour. I had to pee, but they made me go in a strainer to see if I passed anything. I didn't, but it was painful and only came out in a small stream. Ouch.

They decided that the contractions were just my uterus reacting to me being in pain from my kidneys. Once we got the pain under control, the contractions stopped. My doc said the ONLY reason my cervix stayed nice and closed was because Baby A was no longer head down, but had flipped transverse and was pretty high up. (Good boy, babe!!) Had he been head down, I would have been effacing and dilating. We were so relieved to get this news!

They traced heartbeats and contractions for another hour and then I was allowed to go home. I got a third dose of pain meds/anti-nausea and came home and passed out. I have to pee in a strainer to see if I pass anything. If I do pass something, they want me to bring it in and have it tested to see what it is I need to stay away from the rest of the pregnancy, food-wise.

Today, I am just trying to stay on top of the pain and rest. It is uncomfortable to pee, so I'm hoping I will pass something soon.

As for the mucous plug, I took it to the hospital with me in a zip.loc bag and my doc said it was a good thing I came in when I did. He thinks that the plug will replenish itself. We just need to keep a close eye on my cervix at all my appts from here on out.

Well, that was a book. Sorry to keep you all waiting for an update. So thankful that these babies are still with me and baking!!

Thanks again for all the blog love! And to my new followers, I will follow you back!

Friday, February 24, 2012

In Labor and Delivery

Having contractions all morning. Lost a big bloody plug, too.

Can't have these baby boys just yet.

Please pray.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trauma: Life in the OB's Office

My experience at my OB appointment on Monday. Read for a good laugh. And for TMI.

My kids had off school for President's Day and I had a 9:15 OB appt. So much for sleeping in! Anyway, I am never in that office for more than thirty minutes from waiting room to check out. Of course, that wouldn't be the case on the day I brought my children. 

We waited over an hour in the waiting room alone. The kids were good; they had their PSP and DS to play with and they were troopers. DS2 kept letting stinkers and claiming that he did not have to go #2. I was skeptical. After about twenty minutes of little "smells" wafting my way, I realized that whether or not he had to go, I DID. More reason for me to beg that my name be called RIGHT NOW. Which happened. Finally.

So I get my weight, BP and FMU checked and get into a room. The nurse informs me that they will be doing a fetal fibronectin test and I will be getting it done every appt until delivery. "Bottoms off" she says to me. Umm. #notsomethingIwantmykidstoseehappen

My game plan was to make the kids turn around and face the wall for the test. (It was the best I could come up with spur of the moment.) I gave them a short explanation of how things were going to happen and what I wanted them to do. They turned around while I derobed and hopped up onto the table. I covered with the paper napkin/towel/thing and we waited. And waited. And waited. AND WAITED. FORTY minutes later and now I have to pee and go two. I was breaking into a cold sweat. The kids were starting to whine. Calgon, take me away!

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I redressed, threatened my kids to be good "or else" and left the room to go pee. I returned, re-derobed, got verbally chastized by my ten-year-old for leaving a "butt print" on the paper on the table and retook my position on the exam table. At this point, I was FUMING mad over my wait.

Fortunately, the kids were getting the hint that I had had it and when my finally OB came in, they turned around, faced the wall, and didn't turn around or speak the entire time he was in the room. Who knows what my OB thought of them standing there like that?!

What's worse, it took a strength I didn't know I had not poo all over the place when he opened the speculum up for the FFN test. I was deep breathing and everything.

Worst part, we missed Chick-Fil-A breakfast.

To say that I am slightly traumatized by the whole experience is a serious understatement. I can't even imagine how my poor kids must feel.

Three days until viability!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Get A Massage, Take A Yoga Class, Hire An Au Pair"

Who said it?
A) A well-meaning friend.
B) A fellow mother of multiples.
C) My dermatologist.

If you guessed C, have a cookie.  Although they seem more likely to come from a friend or a mom of twins, these words were spoken to me by my skin doctor.  I shall explain. But first, let me just say that I don't know what to think of this guy.

I went for a consultation on my skin, to get a plan for the future and when I was called back, after the pleasantries and whatnots, got right into to telling him about my rosacea.  I told him what has worked for me in the past (IPL), what I haven't seen any results with (creams, pills) and asked him to give me his thoughts on the matter.  The following is our conversation:

Him:  What exactly do you think I'm going to be able to do for you today?
Me:  Look at my skin, listen to my concerns, come up with a game plan for what can be done after these babies are born.
Him: Oh. Okay. You wouldn't believe how many women wait until they are pregnant to come in with concerns over their skin and then they get pissed that I can't do anything for them.
(Uncomfortable silence.)
Him:  So, are you staying away from your rosacea triggers?  Hot drinks, chocolate, cheese, tomatoes?
Me:  I have one cup of coffee a day and yes, I stay away from the rest. (A blatant lie. I have cheese and fairly often. It's my go-to snack. Whatever. He doesn't need to know that.)
Him: What do you hope to accomplish with future treatments?
Me: I want to get my redness under control, get rid of some of these capillaries and achieve an all over more even skin tone.  If my pores were smaller, that would be a bonus.
Him: You think your pores are enlarged?  (looks at my face through funny looking glasses)  Are you under stress, by chance?
Me: (stares at him)  Well, we just moved into a new house, I'm pregnant with twins after dealing with infertility, we've had some complications in this pregnancy, and I live about 1000 miles away from my family.  In a word? Yes. 
Him: Because there's this amazing phenomenon that happens in the brain when someone is under stress that makes things appear larger than they really are. People visualize things that aren't there.
Me: Sooo, you're saying my pores and my ass AREN'T as big as I think they are?
Him: They're probably not.  I really wish more doctors would read the research that has been done in the field because...(blah, blah, blah)...
Me: (Thinking to self)  I am witnessing someone having a mental breakdown. This is what the thought process of someone who has taken one too many hits off the gravity bong sounds like. I am really glad I stopped smoking pot in college.
Him: ...but the pharmaceutical companies can only treat stress with pro.zac and, so there's really no money to be made off of stress-related brain phenomenon.
Me: (stares)
Him: Until we can get you some practical treatment for your rosacea, why don't you get a massage, take a yoga class and hire an au pair.
Me: Are you going to give me a prescription for that?

Honestly. I'm left a bit confused by the whole experience. Do I think he's capable of treating my skin issues? Yes. Do I think he's koo koo for cocoa p.uffs?  Absolutely.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Among Other Things

The past two years have been all about my quest to get pregnant. I was just thinking that it's a good thing I'm a healthy person in general, otherwise I could have let some serious issues go by the wayside.  Putting off needed doctor's appointments and testing for sitting in my RE's office waiting for a date with Mr. Wandy.

I have always derived a sort of pleasure out of going to the doctor and checking 'No' next to every condition listed on medical history sheet.  The cherry on top was to be able to write 'N/A' next to "List of Current Medications".  (Although, I admit, it would be better to write that I at least took a multi-vitamin.)  Still. I enjoy being an overall healthy person who gets to tell the doc that I don't smoke, I don't use drugs, I drink occasionally, and that I've never had an STD. (Pats self on back.)

So, today  I have an appointment at the dermatologists.  I would love to be able to address my concerns over my face and come up with a game plan for after the babies are born for treating my rosacea.  In case any of you are unfamiliar with rosacea, from the U.S. National Library of Medicine: Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that makes your face turn red and may cause swelling and skin sores that look like acne. Symptoms: redness of the face; blushing or flushing easily; A lot of spider-like blood vessels of the face called telangiectasia, red nose (called a bulbous nose), acne-like skin sores that may ooze or crust, burning or stinging feeling in the face, irritated, bloodshot, watery eyes.

I have to admit that I don't exhibit all of the symptoms listed above, but I have everything up to and including the spider-like veins.  All of the symptoms after that are describing people who have advanced stages of the condition.

When I lived in Pittsburgh, I saw a dermatologist regularly for my rosacea and had a few sessions of intense-pulsed light therapy (IPL).  This is really the only thing that gave me visible results. There are some topical treatments, but I was never able to see much of a difference in my skin using the lotions I was prescribed.  I know now that I am pregnant, I won't be able to start IPL sessions until after the babies arrive, but I want to get in and be seen and  maybe even set up my first treatment for early/mid June.

I've always felt that if there is something I can do for myself to make me feel better and to give my self-confidence a boost, I am going to do it. Living with adult acne is hard. Especially when the redness and sores are under the skin, where you can't easily get to them and treat them by using the popular treatments they advertise on television.  I've made it through thirty one years of life and my chief medical complaint is acne. I'm a lucky girl. But I'll be damned if I'm going to just lie down and take it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Of All the Things I've Lost....I Miss My Mind the Most

This head cold/sinus infection has led to brain rot.

I can't really function all that well...or make a burrito for that matter. Sorry if this post makes less than good sense.

Sleep has eluded me for three nights now. I walk around all day like a zombie, but when it comes time for bed, I am wide awake.  Not like wide awake and functioning. Mainly just sitting and staring.  With wide eyes.  Like a deer caught in the headlights. (Except that no 18-wheeler subsequently blasts me into oblivion.)

I tried to help DH make burritos last night. Yes, I said "tried".  The first one went so-so, but the second one stopped cooperating (like it had a mind of its own) and I ended up kind of sort of throwing it across the kitchen.  Yeah. That happened.  The dog was in h-e-a-v-e-n, but DH was not impressed.  In fact, he put me in time-out.  Yeah. That happened, too.

I just hope the cold/sinus infection and all of its lovely side effects leave me....and soon. I think I've been given a glimpse of what it is like to be a man.

And it is very, very bad.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

22 Weeks and A Cold

Today, I am 22 weeks pregnant.  I also have a cold. Under normal circumstances, I would keep myself on a steady regimine of Day/Ny.quil, but with little ones in ute, I'm stuck taking tylenol and sucking on cough drops.  Oh. Well.  This will pass.

So, I thought I would do a little pregnancy update (Sans pic, though. I'm not really feeling close-up ready right now.)  Feel free to not read this "all things babies" post.

How far along:  22 weeks! 14 days to viability!

How big are babies:  "The size of small dolls."  This is pretty vague, if you ask me. Up until this point, they were always compared to fruit.  Last week, they were "The size of large bananas."  I know how big large bananas are.  Words like small and large when it comes to dolls and toy trucks and whatnot, though, can be rather subjective, if you know what I mean. At my MFM specialist appt on Thursday, they were each over 8 inches long and weighed over a pound each.  I'm just going to imagine two really, really, really fat Ken dolls rolling around in there.

Weight gain: 17 pounds.

Sex: Nope! Need to get Baby A's placenta moving a little further away from my cervix in order to enjoy some hanky panky.

Cravings:  Nothing. I'm back to just grazing here and there and not really trying to think about food all that much.  Most things give me heartburn, so I'm sticking to the small, small meals 5-6 times a day.  And I don't really care what it is, either.  Small salad, apple, piece of cheese, small bowl of soup, piece of chicken, pork chop - I don't really mind at all. Just keeping myself fed and hydrated is the name of the game. I thought I would enjoy food more in pregnancy, but *sigh* not so much.

Maternity clothes: Yes. All maternity all the time since about 10 weeks along.

Sexes: Baby boys!  Yay for little guys!

Sleep: Pretty good! Getting up a lot to pee at night, but sleeping well in between.  No complaints there.

Looking forward to: 2/26!! Viability!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Isolation Booth **Edited For Clarity**

Things are weird.  I feel like all of my friendships are on hold, in limbo, or possibly just damaged beyond repair.  It's not unlike the feeling of isolation that I felt when dealing with infertility.  I thought that once I got pregnant I would rejoin, reconnect, and slip right back into my niche with the people I hold as dear to me as family. My group has changed, though.  I was off at war. Fighting this awful enemy that threatened my hopes and seeped into all aspects of my life. I won that battle or at least, AM winning that battle for now.  However, everything has changed.  People have changed. I have changed. And relationships that were once wonderful and fulfilling are either gone or empty or have just changed so much without me realizing, that I don't even recognize them or know where to begin to find my way back to them.

When I was fighting IF, I turned to my friends for advice and comfort.  They knew of my struggles, as a few were fighting similar battles.  It all gets so old, though. "What's going on?"  "How are you doing?"  "Any news?" These questions became like crosses to bear.  "Just waiting."  "The same."  "No, nothing to report."  There was a sense of self-consciousness that overcame me.  It seemed that ALL of my conversations in ALL of my friendships centered around what was happening in my life and my fight with infertility, my quest to get pregnant.  I hated it. I wanted to run away from it all. Get back to a place where I could have laughter and fun without this cloud hanging over my head, without wondering what the next cycle would bring, worrying if I would ever get where I was desperate to be.  I wanted to be me and I just couldn't.

Now, I'm pregnant.  A battle has been won.  Aside from lost time, a friendship is also lost. Three more friendships are weird.  I haven't a clue how to fix any of it. Two of them are weird for reasons I understand. Completely.

One is with a fellow IFer who was pregnant right along side me for about 6 weeks. Sadly, she lost her baby at 9 weeks, has had a D&C and is now waiting for her body to regulate so that she can move forward with an FET.  I have been there. I know all about the protective walls we build around ourselves when we feel vulnerable, sad and beat down from IF.  When I had my m/c last April, she was there for me and I know there was a period of "downtime" where her support never wavered.  But I wasn't up for it. I wanted to shut the world out. Forget about it all.  Be a hermit.  Stay in my shell.  My support for her is there and I know that she knows that. I'm just kind of waiting for the natural progression of these things.  She waited for me. I wait for her. Plus, she is super busy with her work.  Matters that must be attended to - work demands its demands, people!!  Still, feeling disconnected is never a good feeling.

Another friend of mine has received devastating news.  She can no longer use her own eggs if she wants to carry a child.  I could not imagine what a blow that would be.  We've stayed in touch.  We're talking less than what we have before, but still talking. She has admitted that she thinks it's the end of the road for her and TTC.  I listen and support, but I cannot, CANNOT imagine how she must be feeling. All I can do is tell her I love her and that if she needs me I am here. She has told me she wants to take a step back from all things TTC.  See how she feels. I know she is doing what she needs to do for her. But I'm sad for us.  I would love to talk to her about the other things she has going on in her life.  But I understand her need for space.

The third friend is a bit weirder on the "things are weird" scale.  She admitted to me some things that I know she is not proud of.  She didn't want to keep secrets from me, so she told me some things.  Now she has just kind of disappeared off the radar and I can only imagine that she maybe wishes she hadn't told me to begin with? Like she thought she would feel better, but doesn't?  I don't know - all I can do is just continue to try and reach out to her. I love her no matter what.

The friendship that was lost happened before I started stimming for my cycle. I don't really know what to say about it other than maybe, just maybe, had I not been staring down the barrel of our last chance at conceiving, I would have been able to devote more energy into saving it, given it the fight it deserved. I was wrong to let it go the way it did, but she was wrong, too. Now, it's too late.  Actions on both of our parts have shown that neither of us are willing to go back and make ammends. I'm still sad over it, though.

Turns out, in pregnancy one can feel just as isolated as on infertility.  My friends are changing. I am changing. We're struggling to keep that connection that keeps us changing together.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back in Bed

I started bleeding again last night and it was heavy. By the time I went to bed, I was passing small clots.  I wasn't in any pain, nor was I contracting, but it was the worst it's been. I called first thing this morning and went in for an u/s.

The placenta is moving on up, as it should.  It is definitely correcting itself.  The bleeding is just a nasty side effect of it all.

My cervix is great.  Long and closed - over 4 cm! 

Baby boys are looking good, too.  Little faces looking at each other with little hands up to their faces like they were sharing secrets. Very sweet.

I am on bedrest until my followup on Monday.  I hope everything looks good then. DH will be on a plane to Houston that morning and the boys and I will be on our own for a few days.